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How to Keep Heat from Escaping your Home this Winter

As those ‘dog days of summer’ give way to winter’s frosty temperatures and blustery wind-chill, your home needs to switch from blocking out the sun to inviting its warmth indoors. While central heating systems are fully capable of circulating balmy air throughout the house, when used constantly, these units drive up monthly bills.

Instead, maximize the naturally-emitted heat from solar rays with the following energy-efficient and cost-effective tips that you can conveniently implement in your own home. Bundle up in a cozy scarf, grab that quintessential hot cocoa mug, and keep reading for suggestions on staying warm throughout this seasonal climate shift.

 1. Install Adjustable Shutters.

– Why this Works: Whether you choose the roll-down, louvered or wood panel varieties, shutters help you control the amount of sunlight seeping through each window. In addition to minimizing heat loss, they also offer year-round security and weather protection. You can find out more by visiting this site: http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/energy-efficient-window-treatments

– Proof in Percentages: 25%–50% energy savings

Additional Advice: Combine shutters with other window treatments like external awnings or interior drapery for more “Jack Frost” buffers. Just make sure your window treatments will seal the heat inside, yet allow sunlight to shine in and warm your home.

2. Use Ovens for Double-Duty.

Why this Works: Winter weather lends itself to baking cookies, broiling turkeys and even mulling apple cider. Not only does this tradition permeate the air with hearty, tantalizing scents, it also spreads warmth throughout both the kitchen and adjacent rooms.

– Proof in Percentages: approximately 5% energy savings

Additional Advice: Turn off the oven and shut it firmly once you’re done cooking (that steam-filled turkey can finish thawing you out!).

3. Opt for Heavy Curtains.

– Why this Works: Thick window treatments offer a protective barrier between your home’s interior and the harsh outdoor elements. Keep curtains open during the day so that sunlight can filter through, and close them at night to prevent heat from escaping.

– Proof in Percentages: 10%–25% energy savings

– Additional Advice: Look for curtains specifically with a thermal lining made of fleece, wool, velvet or a similar insulating material.

4. Open Doors to Main Rooms.

– Why this Works: Frequently inhabited spaces like bedrooms, home offices and central living areas require heat-flow to keep the whole family comfortable. Contrary to popular belief, sealing off these rooms causes draft circulation, so instead allow the warm air to circulate.

– Proof in Percentages: approximately 5% energy savings

– Additional Advice: Make sure that all air vents remain clean and unobstructed by furniture, or your house will gradually get chillier.

5. Pre-Program Thermostats.

– Why this Works: Automatically setting your unit at a fixed temperature rather than manually making adjustments saves both time and money. This prevents excess heat from being wasted and reduces the urge to crank up full-blast on particularly cold days.

– Proof in Percentages: approximately 20% energy savings

Additional Advice: This Old House suggests the following settings (counteract the low nightly temperature by layering blankets on your bed). You can visit their website for further information: https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/keeping-warm-less

As the seasons change and tan legs are replaced by red noses, don’t shiver your way through these upcoming winter months. Insulate your home and loved ones, while decreasing utility bills in the process. If you know any additional tips worth sharing, we’d love to hear from you! Share your recommendations in the comments below.

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